Why did Elizabeth Warren release the results of her DNA test? She didn't have to.

Warren this week blasted into the press with a DNA test result which fails to prove that she has any Native American heritage, a claim that she has vigorously defended since changing her ethnicity from white to Native American on some work applications decades ago. She didn't have to release the results of a test debunking her claim, since no one was even aware she had taken one.

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Since releasing the results, Warren has been denounced by the Cherokee Nation and members of her own party, and roundly ridiculed by her political opponents.

Why did she do it?

Warren has been dogged by doubts about her claim to have Cherokee ties, and has been encouraged by President Trump and others to take a DNA test to validate those claims. Well, she did, and the results were not what she was hoping for. So why did she release them and claim vindication? Didn't she know what would happen?

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I think that Warren was told that she had Cherokee connections and that perhaps the folklore, like most, was exaggerated just a bit. I think she believed it. I also think she used it to her advantage--or tried to--by changing her ethnicity from white to Native American. She should have fixed things then, but instead, she dug in.

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All Warren had to do when she got her DNA test results back was toss them in the trash and pretend it never happened. Then, call a press conference to say that upon further review, she has determined that tales of her Native American past had unfortunately been greatly exaggerated, apologize, cut a check for the Cherokee orphans fund and call it a day. It would have been over.

It is unlikely that this incident will hurt Warren all that badly in her re-election bid here in Massachusetts, but it will should she follow through with her plan to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Warren's poor instincts just may have cost her any chance of winning the nomination, let alone the White House.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.